Pittsburgh’s Finest …

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Swalfoort
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On Friday, May 30th I witnessed a traffic accident involving a cyclist on East Carson Street. After reading a lot of accounts of “less than bicycle friendly” police and city officials on this board and elsewhere, I feel compelled to write about this experience, which was just the opposite.

A shout should go out first to the (off-duty?) Pittsburgh firefighter/medic who was on the scene within seconds of the accident. He stabilized the victim until on-duty medics could arrive. He was patient and kind and seemed competent, exactly what you hope for if you are the victim in this situation.

A shout should also go out to Officer Stavko of the Pittsburgh PD for his efforts. He was the first officer on the scene, and was clearly seeking “just the facts.” But, in a competent way. Again, if I am ever in an accident, I’d like an officer to handle the accident scene just the way he did.

These guys did not work alone. The PD and FD medics on the scene evaluated and transported the victim, evaluated damage to his bike AND transported his bike back to the fire station for safekeeping, and interviewed both the driver of the car (who stopped immediately and stayed on the scene and calm the whole time) and the multiple witnesses on the scene. The 911 operator would not let me hang up until the medics THEY had sent were on the scene, even though we already had a cop and a firefighter/medic on the scene.

It was a terrible accident – I hope you are feeling better, Sam – but I think the City of Pittsburgh did a bang up job (sorry, couldnt resist) in their handling of it. I suppose you could say that they were all “just doing their jobs” but sometimes that’s all that’s really required.

I just wanted to be sure that cyclists know that it IS possible to be fairly and competently treated by the PD and FD in Pittsburgh.

Be safe out there. And Sam, I wish you a speedy recovery.

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